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Sometimes We Must Act Our Way Into Feeling

Sometimes We Must Act Our Way Into Feeling

My morning reflection Friday of last week began with a simple statement.
"Sometimes we must act our way into a feeling, rather than feel our way into an action."

You are likely much more intelligent than I am and understand that quickly. It took me a while, and I finally understood that it meant you couldn't count on feeling inspired or moved to drive real change in your life. It can happen, for sure. But what usually happens when we are emotionally inspired by something is there is short-term change, but eventually, reality sets back in, and we return to our old ways. That's not weakness, a lack of discipline, or little willpower; it's just how most humans are.

It's the critique I have of most motivational speakers or life coaches who charge a hefty fee for seminars and classes (like Tony Robbins). They are masters of emotional manipulation (not necessarily a bad thing) and get us fired up coming out of the experience, vowing to make significant changes, and this time will be different than all the other times. We will turn our life around, finally making the change in our life on things holding us back.

And then, we usually fail.

We blame ourselves. The speakers or coaches lay the blame at our feet. "We gave you the tools. It's your choice, and it takes discipline and willpower." The friends and colleagues we see as "successful" sympathetically offer platitudes and advice. We believe we didn't try hard enough, sign back up for another motivational experience, and the cycle repeats itself. This is our self-help, you-are-on-your-own culture.

What if, instead, we realized that it would take some small steps at the start, repeated consistently. We wouldn't feel a lot different at first, but as we kept going and took another small step, then another, we "act our way" into the desired outcome. Over time, we realize we are feeling what we had hoped for: more energy, more peace, more fulfillment, whatever was being sought.

That's how change successfully happens. Most of the time. There are, of course, times and people when a single event truly changes their life. But that's the exception rather than the rule. Rather than rely on a feeling to drive your actions, think about where you want to be and how you want to feel, then figure out one small step that you can make toward that. Focus on that until you think it's part of who you are. Then take the next one.

This is what we emphasize at Dorothy's Power Foods. Eating our foods by itself is not going to change your life. But it's one small step in the right direction. When you start consistently adding on the next steps, like Dorothy's Nine Rules, you will find yourself moving in the right direction. And then, at each successive step, you'll figure out the next best one for you.

Have a story of change you'd love to share? Let us know! We'd love to tell it.

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